Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Piazza di Spagna - Barcaccia Fountain

Piazza di Spagna

This view of the Barcaccia Fountain in Piazza di Spagna is part of one of the panoramic images found on the PanoramicEarth.com Tour of Rome. There are over 100 images taken from around Rome linked to an interactive map.

The Piazza di Spagna is another place in Rome where people are not in short supply. Like the Pantheon and St. Peter’s it is difficult to find a time when there are not clusters of tourists following guides in and out of the square. The pace of life does not slow down in the night either, especially in the summer when people hang around the square talking and drinking.

The central piece to the square is the Barcaccia (Ugly Boat), a fountain set below ground level shaped from a leaking boat. Designed by either Pietro Bernini or his son, Gian Lorenzo, the fountain is sunk into the ground to compensate for the low water pressure Acqua Vergine. The inspiration for this design may have been a massive flood of the Tiber on Christmas day in 1598 which left a barge stranded in the city.

This image was taken from the base of the Spanish Steps (Scalinata della Trinita dei Monti to call them by their full name) which were built in 1723 to link Piazza di Spagna with the church at the top, the Trinita dei Monti, and the Pincio Hill.

Also in the square is the Keats-Shelley Memorial House where John Keats spent the last 3 months of his life. The square is linked to the Piazza del Popolo by Via del Babuino and surrounded by cafes and restaurants.

A full panoramic image showing the Spanish steps and the rest of the square is found on the Rome tour by PanoramicEarth.com. An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr.

For more articles on Rome see the Rome Index or select one of the labels at the bottom.

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